Workflow fields

This page describes a set of fields that you can use to record an item's state within your collection management workflow.


This page describes how the Southwest Harbor Public Library (SWHPL) tracks the state of items in its collection. Other Digital Archive installation might not use these field or might use them differently.

The fields are:

Status field

The Status field lets you record an item's state within your collection management workflow.

Status field values

This item is suitable for viewing by the public. Its instructions, if it has any, provide additional information describing how to improve the item. An item’s status can only be set to Accepted if its Access DB value is Converted or blank (an unconverted Access item cannot be Accepted).
This item is slated to be deaccessioned
Missing Image
This item's metadata is for an image that is missing and therefore this item is rejected until the image file is located.
One or more issues make this item unsuitable for viewing by the public. The Instructions field should indicate what work needs to be done to make this item public.
This item cannot be made public due to restrictions on its usage. See the item's Restrictions field for the nature of the restrictions.
This item was imported from Microsoft Access, but has not yet been reviewed. Items with this status must not be public. Items with an Identifier between 5000 and 12754 originated from Microsoft Access.

Restrictions field

The Restrictions field lets you specify a restriction on the item which prevents is from being public.

Restrictions field values

Need permission
The item cannot be made public unless permission is granted by its donor.
Research use only
The item provides information that is useful for archivists, but cannot be made public, usually because it's copyrighted material.
Cannot be sold
Digital or print copies of the item's images cannot be sold, usually because it belongs to another organization.

AccessDB field

The AccessDB field is unique to the Southwest Harbor Public Library. It records the conversion status of items that originated in the Library's original Microsoft Access database and were imported into the Digital Archive. The import process carried over most of the metadata for each item, but two of the Access fields, NOTES and SEE ALSO, needed to be imported manually.

Other installations could use a similar field for the same purpose if data from another source has only been partially imported.

AccessDB field values

The item was imported from Access and all of its metadata is now in the Digital Archive.
The item was imported from Access but NOTES and SEE ALSO information from Access may be missing.
The item originated in the Digital Archive (was never in Access)

Instructions field

The Instructions field lets you record a to-do list of work needed for an item.

Typically while working on an item, you discover incorrect or missing information, or you identify relationships that should be added, but you don't have time right then make those improvements. In that situation, use the Instructions field to record what you learned so that the knowledge won't be lost.

See the examples at the end of this page to get a better sense of how to write instructions.

List of instructions

Add Reference
Add a new item of type Reference to the collection.
Example: Add Reference: Merrill Baxter King House


The Add Reference instruction is typically used along with the Relate instruction. What often happens is that while working on one item you realize that it should be related to another item that is not yet in the collection. The Add Reference instruction records that realization so it won't be forgotten.

Attach an image or PDF file to this item.
Example: Attach: Lawler – James Whitmore Lawler (1847-1877).pdf
Combine this item with another item that is nearly identical.
Example: Combine: with 10551
Locate an asset that should be attached to this item.
Example: Locate: missing image file for this item and attach
Add specific metadata that the item needs.
Example: Metadata: description
Do something to this item that is not covered by one of the other instructions.
Example: Other: Identify women in photograph
Example: Other: Get permission to make this item public
Create a relationship between this item and another item. If the related item is not in the collection, also include an Add instruction for that item.
Example: Relate: A.L. Somes Store
Example: Relate: 13292, “married to”
Remove this item from the collection.
Example: Remove: Duplicate of 6472
Example: Remove: Not directly related to the collection
Replace a file that's attached to this item, typically an image.
Explain why and which image to use for the replacement.
Example: Replace: Use scan from negative instead
Split this item into separate items.
Example: Split: Create a separate item for each group of similar photos
Update the item's metadata, or the information in an attached PDF.
Example: Update: Address in reference sheet should be 26 Charles Street, not 20
Verify the correctness of the information about this item.
Example: Verify: Date of birth
Example: Verify: Is this photo taken in front of Seth Higgins Clark House?
Write a new reference sheet such as a biography or house history.
Example: Write: history of the chapel


Here are a few examples on how to use the Instructions field.

  • Add a new item to the collection and relate this item to it:
    Add Reference: Nathan Clark II
    Relate: Nathan Clark II, child of
  • Attach a document to this item and relate this item to another item:
    Attach: Beal's Bowling Alley.pdf
    Relate: Beal - Harvard Riley Beal (1897-1967)
  • Add information to this item and relate it to other items:
    Metadata: Add description from Wikipedia
    Relate: Dudley Luther Mayo
    Relate: Sara E.K. May
    Relate: Eliza Robinson
  • Improve the item's metadata:
    Other: Identify the hotel in the background
    Metadata: Set Circa date based on cars in the parking lot
    Verify: Spelling of family name - is it Elliot or Eliot